Soil is one of the most complicated biological materials on our planet.

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The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) is the global union of soil scientists. The objectives of the IUSS are to promote all branches of soil science, and to support all soil scientists across the world in the pursuit of their activities. This website provides information for IUSS members and those interested in soil science.

Von Liebig award

This award was established in 2006. The award recognizes outstanding contributions in applied soil science research, contributing to new discoveries, techniques, inventions or materials that increase food security, improve environmental quality or conservation, land and water development, and other areas covered by the divisional structure of IUSS.

At each World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS) IUSS grants the Von Liebig Award to recognize outstanding contributions for applied research in soil sciences.

The award includes an engraved medal, a certificate, a US$ 1000 honorarium, and financial support to attend the presentation at the World Congress of Soil Science.

They are differentiated by the type of contribution rendered, not by professional membership grouping. Eligible are members of the International Union of Soil Sciences. Only one award can be given to one person or group of persons during one year.

IUSS Von Liebig Award 2018

John Ryan

John RyanThe IUSS is extremely proud to announce that the winner of the 2018 IUSS Liebig Applied Soil Science Award is international soil scientists Dr John Ryan.

Dr John Ryan, a native of Ireland, holds BAgrSc, PhD and DSc degrees from University College Dublin and is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist and is a 45-year member of SSSA. His mainly international career involved research, teaching, administration, leadership, and editorial assignments. Following a Fulbright post-doctoral period at the University of Arizona, where he took an MS in agricultural education, he held professorial positions at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, for 11 years, and 4 years at the University of Nebraska, with USAID/MIAC/INRA (based in Morocco), and 20 years as Senior Scientist at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas in Aleppo, Syria.

His research areas were applied soil chemistry, soil fertility, fertilizer use, plant nutrition, and soil and water management. His main focus was dryland agriculture. He has published extensively and has lectured in many countries. He is a Fellow of ASA, SSSA, and CSSA, and holds the international awards in all three Societies, in addition to the Distinguished Soil Science Award and Honorary Member of IUSS. He is also a Fellow of the American Society for the Advancement of Science, and has received the IFA Crop Nutrition Award, the IPNI Science Award, and the JB Jones Award for services to soil and plant analysis. He served as Commission Chair in IUSS for 8 years and as Chair of International Agronomy in ASA. Though retired in Ireland, he remains active professionally.

Former recipients

2014 Winner of IUSS Von Liebig Award : Magdi Selim
2010 Winner of IUSS Von Liebig Award : Don Sparks
2006 Winner of IUSS Von Liebig Award: Rattan Lal